Vesicular stomatitis lesions

In its Sept. 10 Situation Report, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that there have been no new VSV-infected premises identified since its last Situation Report on Sept. 3. Officials have not identified any new VSV-positive states since July 27.

Kansas and Missouri are the only remaining states with VSV-quarantined premises.

Kansas, where two previously VSV-suspect premises were released from quarantine in Johnson and Neosho counties, has one premises quarantined in Miami County.

Missouri has released one previously VSV-infected premises from quarantine in Dallas County and presently contains five quarantined premises: one in Dallas County, one in McDonald County, one in Ozark County, and two in Phelps County.

During the 2020 season, states with VSV outbreaks included Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. In all, 202 premises were confirmed positive, and 121 contained suspect cases.

At this time last year—during the largest VSV outbreak in the previous 40 years of recorded history—414 premises nationwide were confirmed positive, with another 596 suspect premises and 152 premises quarantined, as of APHIS’ Sept. 12, 2019, Situation Report.

Veterinarians quarantine and monitor premises with confirmed positive and suspect cases for at least 14 days from the onset of lesions in the last animal affected.

VS 101

Vesicular stomatitis virus can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats, or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and a number of other animals. Lesions usually heal in two or three weeks.

​Because of the virus’ contagious nature and its resemblance to other diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately. Most animals recover with supportive care by a veterinarian.

“Vesicular stomatitis has been confirmed only in the Western Hemisphere,” APHIS said on its website. “It is known to be an endemic disease in the warmer regions of North, Central, and South America, and outbreaks of the disease in other temperate geographic parts of the hemisphere occur sporadically. The Southwestern and Western United States have experienced a number of vesicular stomatitis outbreaks … Outbreaks usually occur during the warmer months, often along waterways.” According to Angela Pelzel McCluskey, DVM, APHIS’ equine epidemiologist, the largest VS outbreak in more than 40 years of recorded history occurred in 2019.

Some states and other countries might restrict movement of, or impose additional requirements for, susceptible animals from states having known VS cases. Before moving livestock, contact the state of destination for its requirements.